Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is FoodWorks easy to use?

  2. How does FoodWorks compare to other nutrient analysis software?

  3. Why does FoodWorks cost US$199.95 when similar software costs much more?

  4. What should I ask when shopping for nutrient analysis software?

  5. Does FoodWorks work with Microsoft Windows 10?

  6. What if I have a Macintosh computer?

  7. What kind of analyses can I do using FoodWorks?

  8. Where does the nutrient data come from?

  9. What computer equipment must I have to use FoodWorks?

  10. Does FoodWorks include the newest DRI values?

  11. Can I analyze a recipe using FoodWorks?

  12. Can I analyze cycle menus using FoodWorks?

  13. Can I add foods to the FoodWorks database?

  14. Can I export analysis information to my word processor?

  15. Can I make a spreadsheet of nutrient values?

  16. Can I tag my most frequently used food item so that I can find them quickly?

  17. Can I store tray card information using FoodWorks?

  18. Can I track clients using FoodWorks?

  19. How often is FoodWorks updated?

  20. How do I get technical support or training and how much does it cost?

  21. What is a key code?

  22. What is a license?

  23. What if I want to use FoodWorks on more than one computer?

  24. What if I buy a new computer? How do I move FoodWorks?

  25. Can I get a demo?

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Q: Is FoodWorks easy to use?

A: Feedback from FoodWorks users indicates that they find FoodWorks to be the easiest to use software they have ever tried, not to mention the most cost effective. In fact, FoodWorks is so easy to use that it has been installed in high school classrooms to aid in teaching nutrition concepts. At the same time, FoodWorks can handle a wide spectrum of nutrition assessment tasks from teaching nutrition to client counseling to menu and recipe analysis to collecting research data.

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Q: How does FoodWorks compare to other nutrient analysis software?

A: FoodWorks is fully comparable to other full-featured nutrition analysis software packages. FoodWorks has all of the features that dietitians use, presented in an easy to understand format. The primary differences between other nutrition analysis software and FoodWorks are ease and flexibility of use, and cost of use over the short and long term. The single-computer license for FoodWorks is priced an average of 70% less than that of similar software.  Additionally, our free product support has been acclaimed by our users as "the best in the industry", and who should know better?  To see a side-by-side comparison of FoodWorks with the competition, click here.

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Q: Why is FoodWorks only $199.95 when similar software costs much more?

A: A primary goal of FoodWorks' designers was to create a powerful nutrient analysis tool that is affordable and can perform a broad spectrum of analysis tasks. Our efficient organization, effective data management tools, low overhead, and 30+ years of experience developing and applying nutrition software allow us to offer FoodWorks at a price that is far below the price of similar software.

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Q: What should I ask when shopping for nutrient analysis software?

A: First, you should be sure that the features match your needs and expectations. You should be prepared to be flexible with respect to how you will perform various tasks using your new software, as each program works differently.

Second, you also should be certain that the software will run on your computer (FoodWorks runs on Windows computers.  Macintosh users may be able to run FoodWorks if they have Windows emulation software installed on their Macintosh computer).

Third, you should be certain that the price you pay will cover all of the options you require (FoodWorks has no options - everything is included).

Fourth, you should find out what future upgrades will cost (FoodWorks upgrades cost $49.95 and are available approximately once per year. You are NOT required to upgrade if you don't wish to do so).

Fifth, find out if you must pay for subscriptions or license renewals (FoodWorks has no subscriptions or renewal fees).

Sixth, find out the cost of technical support (support for FoodWorks is free).

The Nutrition Company urges you to "shop around".  We're confident that you will find FoodWorks to be the most comprehensive and cost-effective nutrient analysis software available.

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Q: Does FoodWorks work with Microsoft Windows 10?

A: Yes.  FoodWorks is fully functional with computers running Microsoft Windows 7, 8, or 10.  FoodWorks can also be run on computers running Windows XP and Vista.  However, there are two known issues that may affect your installation of FoodWorks under some operating systems.

Some users may experience one or more file registration messages during installation of the FoodWorks software.  If so, a message will appear stating that a system file cannot be registered.  If this message appears during your installation, click the “IGNORE” button and let the installation proceed.  More messages also may appear referring to the same issue.  Click the “IGNORE” button for these messages as well.  The FoodWorks installation will then complete normally and your FoodWorks software will be ready to use. 

Also, on rare occasions, the FoodWorks icon may not be added to the programs list on the Start button menu.  If this happens, you can easily create a desktop shortcut for FoodWorks.  To do this, select “Computer” from the Start button menu.  Double-click “Local drive C:”, then locate and double-click the “Program Files (x86)” folder (in Windows XP this folder will be called just "Program Files").  Inside the Program Files folder, locate and double-click the “FWorks” folder.  Locate the FoodWorks application's red and yellow chili pepper icon and right-click on it.  A pop-up menu will appear.  Choose “Send to” and then choose “Desktop” from the sub-menu.  This will create a FoodWorks desktop icon for you to use.

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Q: What if I have a Macintosh computer?

A: While FoodWorks is guaranteed to function only with Windows operating systems, many Macintosh owners are successfully using FoodWorks on Macintosh computers that have Windows emulation software installed (such as CrossOver Mac, Parallels, Boot Camp, or Fusion). If you are a Macintosh user and wish to use FoodWorks, you can find links to the websites of these software producers on the FoodWorks technical specifications page.  You can also contact your Macintosh software reseller about Windows emulation software. Contact Nutrition Company Customer Service if you have specific questions about using FoodWorks on your Macintosh. Complete contact information can be found by clicking the "Contact us" tab on the home page of this website.

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Q: What kinds of analyses can I do using FoodWorks?

A: You can analyze anything that can be quantified as a list of food items. That might be a meal, a 24-hour recall, a multiple-day record, a recipe, a menu, or even a single food item.

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Q: Where does the nutrient data come from?

A: The FoodWorks database consists of data from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, the USDA Food and Nutrition Database for Dietary Studies, the Canadian Nutrient File, and data from independent sources such as research laboratories, food manufacturers, fast food restaurants, and the makers of supplements and formulas.  Additionally, FoodWorks contains historic food references to aid nutrition researchers in the analysis of archived food records as part of on-going research projects.

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Q: What computer equipment must I have to use FoodWorks?

A: You must have a computer equipped with the Windows (7, 8, or 10) operating system. There is no minimum RAM specification. Like all programs that search a data base, computer processor speed and the size of cache memory are the primary factors that determine how fast the program will run. FoodWorks will print on any printer that has graphic capability, such as laser and ink-jet printers.

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Q: Does FoodWorks include the new DRI values?

A: Yes. FoodWorks contains all updates from all Dietary Reference Intakes report developed by the National Academy of Sciences and Health Canada. This includes RDA, AI (Adequate Intake), AMDR (Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range), and reference energy expenditure values.  Also, FoodWorks 18 introduces the newest Daily Values in support of the new Nutrition Facts panel.

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Q: Can I analyze a recipe using FoodWorks?

A: Yes. You can analyze a recipe, save it in a file, add it to the data base, modify it later and update the database with the modifications, list its ingredients in order of percent of total weight, print a shopping list for it, and generate a food label for it. In short, yes, you can analyze a recipe. You can analyze any list of foods.

If you store your recipe's header notes, description, ingredient list, and procedure in the Personal Data Notepad, you can easily cut-and-paste your recipe from FoodWorks' Export function directly into any word processor and then format it in any way you wish.  You can even make a Nutrition Facts label to go with your recipe.

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Q: Can I analyze cycle menus using FoodWorks?

A: Yes. The FoodWorks User Manual and Help menu feature a complete section on the management of cycle menus with suggested strategies that you can apply.

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Q: Can I add foods to the database?

A: Yes. You can add an unlimited number of foods to the database. You can add a food item to the database even if all you have is a Nutrition Facts food label as a data source. In addition, you can edit the FoodWorks database, which is very useful for inserting new data between updates. You also can add the analysis results of a recipe directly to the database, making it a new food item. That means you don't need to enter the recipe's ingredients every time you include it in another analysis. In the future, when you upgrade to a future version of FoodWorks, you can automatically bring foods you added to your old version along with you, so you don't have to enter them again.  You can share foods you add to the database with other FoodWorks users.  This is very useful if you work with a group of people, as in state-wide agencies.  You also can export your user-added foods to spreadsheet software such as Microsoft ® Excel.

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Q: Can I export results to my word processor?

A: Yes. FoodWorks lets you export analysis results to a text file that can be used not only with word processors, but with any program that can accept text input. You can "cut" information out of the FoodWorks export function and "paste" it directly into any other document. You also can export food labels and graphs as pictures that can be inserted into word processor documents and graphic layouts. You can even export nutrient data in tab-delimited text format for use with spreadsheets (such as Microsoft ® Excel) and all popular statistical processors.

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Q: Can I make a spreadsheet?

A: Yes. FoodWorks lets you export analysis results as a tab-delimited text file which can be accessed by all popular spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft ® Excel. This gives you not only the ability to create a spreadsheet, but to manipulate it after you create it.  Additionally, tab-delimited text files can be opened by statistical analysis programs such as SPSS, JMP, or SAS.

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Q: Can I tag my most frequently used food items so that I can find them quickly?

A: Yes. FoodWorks includes a "Favorites" feature which allows you to create a list of food items you frequently use. You can select these foods directly from the list without having to search for them.  Also, FoodWorks remembers foods you have previously chosen, and will display them in a "short list" when you search.

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Q: Can I store tray card information using FoodWorks?

A: Yes. Tray card information can be placed in the Personal Data Notepad along with any other dietary restrictions and requirements your patients may have. The contents of the Notepad can be printed, exported as text to a word processor, or even cut and pasted into other active applications.  In fact, you can put any information you wish in the Notepad (see the next question).

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Q: Can I track clients using FoodWorks?

A: Yes. Client information is stored in the Personal Data Notepad where you can include any information that applies to your client or the analysis you are performing. The contents of the notepad are stored along with personal data about your client for future reference. You can create a file or set of files for every client. However, if HIPAA restrictions apply to your environment, you do not need to enter or store HIPAA-restricted data to complete an analysis.

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Q: How often is FoodWorks updated?

A: The FoodWorks database is updated whenever the USDA issues a major update to the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.  It has been USDA policy to update the Standard Reference annually. After a USDA update is published, FoodWorks is updated to apply new technology and to include new features that have been suggested by our users.  Updates currently cost $49.95 including shipping.

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Q: How do I get technical support or training and how much does it cost?

A: The best way to get technical support is by emailing to  The support telephone number is 908-876-5580.  Access hours are 9:00AM to 5:00PM Eastern time Monday through Friday, excluding major holidays.  However, due to low call for support, this number is not manned during all office hours. Email is the recommended method for contact and is a particular cost-saving method for our many international users.

FoodWorks contains an extensive Help system that includes the ShowMe walk-through tutorials which guide users through important tasks related to using FoodWorks.  In addition to ShowMe, other important help topics are provided on the Help menu.  Each FoodWorks display includes a context-sensitive "?" button that displays information about all of the controls and functions on the display.  Additionally, telephone training is provided as a paid consulting service.  The first 15 minutes of telephone training are free of charge.  After that, training is provided in 15 minute increments at a cost of $18.75 per 15 minutes ($75.00 per hour).  If you are an individual or organization requiring training, please contact Support at the email address above for information or to arrange for an appointment.

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Q: What is a key code?

A: When you purchase FoodWorks and install it on your computer, you must register your FoodWorks software license with The Nutrition Company within 30 days or your program will stop working. This helps us to prevent unauthorized use of FoodWorks which helps keeps your cost low. When you register, you provide a "registration code" that your computer will display. When you are ready to register, simply send the registration code along with your license serial number to The Nutrition Company by email, phone, or fax.  A "key code" will be returned to you with instructions about how to use it. Type the key code into the FoodWorks registration reminder display and your license registration is completed quickly and conveniently.

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Q: What is a license?

A: Computer software is considered to be "intellectual property" under copyright laws, just like books or music. When you purchase FoodWorks, you are not buying the software itself, but a license to use the software on your computer. It is very much like obtaining a driver's license to allow you to drive your car, except that you’ll never have to renew your FoodWorks license.

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Q: What if I want to use FoodWorks on more than one computer?

A: As with all software, your basic license allows you to use FoodWorks on one computer. If you wish to use it on more than one computer that you own, you can purchase additional keys (limited licenses) for $50.00 per computer. When you get to seven computers ($199.95 for the first computer plus $50.00 for each of six additional computers = $499.95), the license becomes unlimited and further licenses for computers at your address are issued at no charge. Putting FoodWorks on a network server always requires an unlimited site license. Licenses are permanent and never need to be renewed.  There are no annual fees or subscriptions to pay.  If you retire a computer on which FoodWorks is installed, you can move it to your new computer and obtain a key for NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

Upgrades apply to ALL computers covered under your license. When you purchase a future upgrade, you buy only one for your entire license, not one for every computer. That's just another way that FoodWorks saves you money in both the short term and the long term.

Also, if your organization has multiple locations spread over a city, county, state, or even across a country, contact Customer Service to learn how District Licenses and/or Regional Licenses can help you save even more money.

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Q: What if I buy a new computer? How do I move FoodWorks?

A: Buying a new computer is very common.  Everybody does it sooner or later.  When you do, you need only to install FoodWorks on your new computer, run it, and enter your FoodWorks license serial number when prompted.  You also will need to complete a final registration for your new FoodWorks installation because your new computer will not have a software key installed.  You'll have 30 days to do this.  Simply follow the instructions on the Registration Reminder window to email your registration request.  Be sure to mention that you have installed FoodWorks on a new computer.  We'll take care of the rest, and reply to you with your new key code number and instructions.

All that remains to do is to copy your food list files (and any other files you created using FoodWorks) onto your new computer.  You can do this via a network or with a USB memory device.  You can even email them to yourself.  If you added foods to your database, you must copy a set of files onto your new computer.  In FoodWorks, choose "Backing up your user database" on the Help menu to learn which files need to be moved.  You also can find detailed instructions, including a list of the files to be moved, in the Technical Support Knowledge Base.

If you downloaded your FoodWorks software you can use the SETUP application file in the "FW setup" folder that was placed on your computer desktop during the download.  Simply copy the folder onto your new computer and then double-click the SETUP icon (a picture of a computer) inside the folder to start the installation process.  Then, follow the instructions that appear on the screen.

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Q: Can I get a demo?

A: One of our goals in creating FoodWorks was to lower the price of powerful, reliable nutrient analysis software to a reasonable level. If you’ve looked at other similar programs, you’ve already noticed that FoodWorks costs about 70% less than its peers. Demo versions drive up the cost of a program.

One way to find out how FoodWorks works is to visit the How does FoodWorks work display under the FoodWorks tab.  This walk-through will show you examples of FoodWorks screens while describing the flow and features of the program.

Also, The Nutrition Company offers a 30-day delayed registration of your FoodWorks license. That means, when you purchase a license to use FoodWorks, you have a full 30 days to try out THE REAL FOODWORKS in your own environment. We're sure you'll love FoodWorks, just like our thousands of other users.  If so, just complete the final registration of your license and you'll be a full-fledged FoodWorks users.  But, if you find during those 30 days that FoodWorks does not meet your needs, simply don't complete the final registration and contact us to cancel your license for a refund of the license fee.

We can make this offer because thousands of nutrition professionals from the USA, Canada, and more than 45 other countries have tried and chosen FoodWorks. Less than 1/2 of 1% have ever decided to return it. As you can see, we’re proud of our software and pleased that we’ve helped the nutrition community save well over 2 million dollars on the tools they need to do their nutrient analysis tasks.

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